Home Langauages Unlock the Best of France: 14 Can’t-Miss French Festivals

Unlock the Best of France: 14 Can’t-Miss French Festivals


If you’re interested in French culture, we extremely advise partaking in amongFrance’s many unique holidays A recommendation, though: do not sleep on French celebrations!

French celebrations provide an interesting window into French culture and history. See the fireworks on Bastille Day to find out how France acquired its self-reliance, or capture a program at Chorégies d’Orange in among the very best maintained Roman monoliths in France.

While they might draw bigger than typical crowds, each French celebration is really special, and unlike vacations, frequently connected to a specific city. Branch off beyond Paris and find what makes the whole nation so unbelievable!

Planning a journey? Take a look at our basic French phrases guide with whatever you require to get in touch with brand-new individuals, browse mass transit, and more. And if you wish to feel much more positive speaking French, Rosetta Stone‘s immersive, bite-sized lessons are the ideal method to prepare.

Read on to find Menton’s imposing lemon sculptures and Lyon’s parades of light!


1. Menton Lemon Festival

When: February 17– March 3, 2024

Where: Menton (25 minutes east of Monaco)

What to anticipate:

La Fête du Citron is a 20-day French celebration in Menton that commemorates the area’s specialized crop. It began in 1875 as a parade to spruce up the cold weather. Today it consists of a wide array of programs, crafts and arts workshops for any ages, cooking classes, garden trips, and more.

However, the primary draws are the elaborate citrus-covered drifts that parade through the streets. The whole area of every float is covered with lemons, oranges, and accompanying citrus fruits. Each float style represents the celebration’s style for the year. Previous styles have actually varied from Disney to Jules Verne.

And get this: the biggest drifts consume to 15 lots of fruit and take countless hours to finish! The outcomes are a sunshine-hued phenomenon to witness. In between parades, you can see much more citrus-covered sculptures in the Biovès gardens. Sculptures from previous years consist of Menton’s train station, a dragon, a Paris Metro entryway, the Sphinx, and more.

Fun reality: It’s no lemon celebration without a mascot, and the Menton Lemon Festival’s a lot of renowned citrus is called John Lemon.


2. Great Carnival

When: February 17– March 3 2024

Where: Nice, Côte d’Azur

What to anticipate:

While towering lemon sculptures are taking control of Menton, Nice is hectic hosting a celebration of its own. Le Carnival de Nice is the biggest winter season occasion in its area and is among lots of Carnival events worldwide, from Brazil’s Carnival in Rio de Janeiro to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Because Nice’s Carnival event is connected to the start of Lent, the dates differ from year to year, though it’s frequently in February or March. The earliest records of the Nice Carnival’s presence date back to 1294, a main committee for the celebrations wasn’t developed up until 1873, which made their current 150th anniversary event rather unique.

Like all Carnival events, the parades loaded with vibrant, fancy drifts are the piece de resistance. Each belongs to the year’s style and accompanied by vibrant music and dance efficiencies. You can’t miss out on the flower fight, a procession of vibrant, fancy drifts and automobiles entirely covered in fresh flowers. 100,000 flowers are utilized in every “fight”!

To mark completion of the carnival, individuals set the Carnival King puppet– the float that leads the really first parade on the carnival’s opening day– on fire. Keep in mind that the Carnival is a ticketed occasion, however costumed guests are totally free! Ensure to go for it to ensure your totally free admission.

Fun reality: On any given year, the Nice Carnival utilizes 20 lots of confetti.


3. International Garden Festival

When: April to October

Where: Chaumont-sur-Loire

What to anticipate:

Since 1992, garden enthusiasts from worldwide have actually completed for among 30 areas in the yearly International Garden Festival. The display screens in the Chateau de Chaumont gardens are open to the general public from April to October, and the gardens are developed to represent a specific style each year. The display screens are typically more modern than other competitive garden celebrations. If you occur to go to throughout the summer season, capture a various point of view of the gardens with a candlelit night trip.

Fun reality: The chateau’s garden was developed by Prince de Broglie and was influenced by English style.

4. Sedan Medieval Festival

When: May 11– 12 2024

Where: Château Fort de Sedan

What to anticipate:

Who would not enjoy a middle ages celebration at an actual castle? This two-day spring occasion is a must-see for any history enthusiast. The midlifes come to life with exhibitions, home entertainment, and presentations by proficient artisans. The fencing competitions are a specifically amazing sight. For those thinking about merch, a wide array of products and food influenced by the age are readily available for purchase at the middle ages market. Pony trips, craft workshops for kids, and other family-friendly activities make sure that guests of any ages enjoy this blast from the (really remote) past. Celebration guests can likewise get a discount rate on tickets to see the château.

Fun reality: The château’s yard hosts middle ages wedding events throughout the two-day celebration, though couples can book weddings in a more personal setting year-round.


5. Cannes Film Festival

When: 14– 25 May 2024

Where: Cannes, Côte d’Azur

What to anticipate:

The Festival de Cannes is among the most distinguished occasions in the movie market. Established in 1946, this celebration set out to measure up to the Venice celebration (which had clear Fascist leanings at the time). It continues to be a location for early watchings of brand-new movies from all over the world!

Note that this celebration is invite just. You’ll see cream-of-the-crop movies months before the rest of the world if you’re fortunate sufficient to make it there! Plus, you’ll get a front row seat on an olden custom: audiences offer a standing ovation for each movie, the length of which is seen by some critics as a step of the movie’s quality.

At the end of the celebration, awards are offered to movies in different classifications. The most distinguished award is the Palme d’Or ( the Golden Palm). Guests can likewise enjoy the attractive red carpet, make offers at the movie market, participate in masterclasses, view exhibits with different cinema-related styles, and network with other movie experts.

Fun reality: Since 2001, the Palm Dog has actually been granted to the very best efficiency by a canine, live action or animated. Significant winners consist of Bruno from The Triplets of Belleville, Mops from Marie Antoinette, and Uggie from The Artist


6. Féria de Pentecôte

When: Pentecost (normally May or early June)

Where: Nîmes

What to anticipate:

Féria de Pentecôte is a six-day Pentecost event in the previously Roman city of Nîmes. The activities and occasions are affected by the Spanish city of Sevilla. From bull battles to Sevillian dancing and a parade, referred to as a Pégoulade, the sights and noises of Spain come alive in France. The specific dates alter, however it constantly happens 7 weeks after Easter.

Fun reality: A much shorter, comparable celebration called Féria des Vendanges happens over 3 days in September.


7. Fête de la Musique (World Music Day)

When: June 21

Where: Worldwide, came from France

What to anticipate:

Fête de la Musique, likewise referred to as World Music Day or Make Music Day in English, was established in 1982 by French Minister of Culture Jack Lang and author Maurice Fleuret. The principle is to promote live music with totally free outside shows. Today it is commemorated in 120 nations, consisting of 117 United States cities.

Fun Fact: ” Fête de la Musique” is noticable the like the celebration’s motto, “Faites de la musique” (Make Music), making the name of the celebration a play on words.


8. Paris L’été (Paris Summer Festival)

When: July 10– 30

Where: Paris

What to anticipate:

Festival Paris L’été is a 20-day art and culture extravaganza that happens through the majority of July. Every part of the city, from museums to schools, is changed into areas for display screens and efficiencies. There are over 20 creative occasions throughout the city in overall. Whether you’re a fan of theater, visual art, music, or anything in between, there is something for you.

Fun reality: Until 8 years earlier, the celebration was called the Quartier d’Été celebration.


9. La Fête Nationale (Bastille Day)

When: July 14

Where: All around France, however particularly Paris

What to anticipate:

France’s fête nationale honors the storming of La Bastille on 14 July 1789, which is seen by a lot of as the start of the French Revolution. Just English speakers call it Bastille Day. In France, it is more typically referred to as Quatorze Juillet (describing the date) or La Fête Nationale

The vacation is commemorated throughout the nation, however the most renowned scenes occur in Paris. The banner occasion is a military parade down the Champs Elysées with a bleu, blanc, et rouge flyover overhead. Station house in the city host dances, called Bals de Pompier ( firefighter’s balls) that are open to the general public. Some are totally free to participate in, others recommend a contribution. There are likewise fireworks, music in parks, and totally free entry to museums. Other cities and towns host comparable celebrations on smaller sized scales.

Fun reality: Paris’ Fête Nationale parade is the earliest and biggest military parade in Europe.


10. Celebration d’Avignon

When: July

Where: Avignon

What to anticipate:

Since 1947, the Festival d’Avignon has actually been among the biggest arts celebrations in Europe. The inaugural celebration happened when theater director Jean Vilar, art critic Christian Zervos, and poet René Char all hosted programs at the Palace of the Popes in Avignon throughout the exact same week. Today, the celebration draws in artists and fans of theater, dance, visual arts, and music from worldwide. Occasions have actually broadened to 30 locations, making the whole city a cornucopia of imagination. The shows covers from traditional works to developments by brand-new up-and-coming artists.

Fun reality: The Palais des Papes, the flagship location for the Festival d’Avignon, is a UNESCO world heritage website.


11. Chorégies d’Orange

When: August

Where: Orange, Côte d’Azur

What to anticipate:

Chorégies d’Orange is a yearly opera celebration that happens in the ancient Roman theater in the city of Orange. The celebration goes back to 1860 and is the earliest music celebration in Europe. The location where it happens is likewise among the best-preserved Roman monoliths in France. Over 10,000 guests originated from worldwide to see the greatest names in opera in this historical, acoustically-breathtaking area.

Fun reality: ” Chorégies” originates from the Greek word for choir leader.


12. Fête de la Gastronomie (French Cuisine Festival)

When: Late September

Where: Throughout France

What to anticipate:

The Fête de la Gastronomie is a relatively brand-new celebration, however it’s a should for any food lover. The celebration was established in 2011 after UNESCO included French Gastronomy to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. On the last weekend of September, the whole nation comes together to commemorate their food. In addition to all the excellent consuming, you can take part in cooking workshops, go on winery trips, enjoy presentations from chefs, and more.

Fun reality: The event of gastronomy isn’t restricted to the hexagone (a popular label for France). French dining establishments abroad likewise sign up with the enjoyable to teach residents the pleasure of French food.

13. Beauty salon du Chocolat (The Chocolate Fair)

When: October 28– November 1

Where: Paris

What to anticipate:

Chocoholics rejoice! In late October, the Paris Expo Center hosts the world’s biggest exhibit devoted to your preferred sweet. Over 700 chocolatiers, pastry chefs and confectioners from all over the world collect to share their abilities. Obviously, you’ll discover a lot of delightful chocolate to consume, presentations from the world’s finest chocolate pros, cooking classes, and more. The celebration ends by crowning the very best chocolatiers on the planet with the Chocolate Award.

Fun reality: The celebration consists of a chocolate style reveal where designs show outfits constructed out of chocolate.

14. Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights)

When: Around December 8

Where: Lyon

What to anticipate:

Held every year in Lyon around December 8, Fête des Lumières is among the most popular celebrations in France. The origin story of the celebration goes back to 1852, when the city set up a statue of the Virgin Mary. The inauguration of the statue was delayed two times due to weather. The 2nd designated date was December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. After the 2nd cancellation, residents lit candle lights on their window sills and terraces. The custom of showing candle lights on that night has actually continued since. In the 1960s, the celebration handled an entire brand-new light (pun meant) with store window lighting competitors and lighting display screens on regional monoliths. Today, the whole city is alight with enchanting colors.

Fun reality: Lyon’s customs of honoring the Virgin Mary goes back even further than the statue inauguration. In 1643, the city’s leaders hoped to Mary to secure the city from the pester. The Lyonnais have actually thanked her since.

>> > > Need another factor to commemorate? See the complete list of French holidays here!

Get to understand France even much better with Rosetta Stone

France’s wide range of celebrations are a testimony to just how much the culture needs to provide. Experiencing occasions like these can open the world for long time francophiles and amateurs alike. Participating in these occasions isn’t the only method to get much better familiarized with the nation.

A much deeper understanding of French needs immersion in addition to historic and cultural context. That’s why Rosetta Stone exceeds and beyond with real-world, culturally pertinent workouts. Our Dynamic Immersion technique assists trainees of any ages find out effectively, letting them check out more in less time. Plus, our TruAccent speech acknowledgment assists you sound persuading based upon information from countless native speakers. Start your very first lesson today!

Written by Luca Harsh



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